Virginia Fern (Reuter) Smith, age 95, passed away peacefully on Friday morning, July 17, 2020 at her home at Westminster Village in West Lafayette, only a few blocks from the family home. Virginia had put up a valiant fight against cancer for more than two years.
She was born July 11, 1925 in Grand Rapids, MI, and was the only child of Ed and Fern (Walker) Reuter. Virginia and her parents, eventually settled in Indianapolis, where Virginia graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in 1943. Much of her social life and evolution into adulthood came out of Arsenal Tech, where she met her future husband, Ned, and some of her best friends, including Marjorie (Smith) Kern, who was Ned’s sister.
Virginia became a strong and independent women, growing up in challenging times during the Great Depression and WWII. In fact, having met Ned in high school soon before he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, Virginia maintained an extensive written correspondence with Ned as he traveled thru all of the major campaigns of the War.
They fell in love through this correspondence, and Ned named his C-47 paratrooper place the “Virginia.” The Virginia played a key role in D-Day and was in the very first wave over Normandy. Soon after the end of the war, Ned returned to Indianapolis and married Virginia. Ned M. Smith passed away at a young age, and Virginia married Edwin Layer in West Lafayette in 1978.
Virginia had a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and her Masters Degrees from Indiana and Purdue University. She had a long career as an educator/teacher and then as a financial aid counselor at Purdue. Virginia attended the Unitarian Church.
She is survived by her children, Gail (Mike) Roberts of St. Louis and Craig Smith of Chicago; grandchildren, Erin Roberts, Amy Roberts, Natalie Smith and Julia Smith; great grandchildren, Evan and Lauren VordemEsche, Sawyer, Sophia and Tristan Huffman; and step children, Kurt and Christopher Layer.
Virginia was preceded in death by husband’s, Ned Myron Smith on January of 1976 and Edwin Layer on August of 2019; stepdaughter, Valerie Layer.
A private memorial service will be held in the future when traveling conditions have improved. Services have been entrusted to Meredith-Clark Funeral Home in Morgantown.
Memorial contributions can be sent in honor of Virginia to the Ned Myron Smith Field Camp Award, at Purdue Research Foundation, alloc 003616, 403 W. Wood Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
The family would like to thank all of Virginia’s family and friends, and the staff of Westminster Village and Hospice who have cared for Virginia during this difficult time.
Expressions of caring and kindness can be made to Virginia’s family at
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